Well, Beck.

Is his prose always this dry? It wasn't a bad book, the narrative structure and philosophical insights were interesting and the characters were well developed, but the prose was just rather dull. I assume this has in part to do with the schizoid, emotionless, broken, and academic nature of Michel's character (although it's in third person), so I'm wondering is this just Houellebecq's style or is this book more of an outlier? Aside from TEP, I've only read his poetry, which I didn't find as stagnant, but which was still extremely blunt in a comically depressing manner.

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    critiquing an authors prose via translation is moronic

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      https://i.imgur.com/zyvPaBo.jpeg

      >monolingual anglo critiquing his prose through translation
      Les mutts sont des immondes créatures

      My post was hardly a critique, ESL gays. I read his poetry in French, but I'm still working on getting my French to a level where I can read novels without referring to translation. That said, I have enough knowledge of French to know that it's not all that different from English, so translation is pretty straightforward. In French, Les Particules Elementaires still has that same disinterested tone. Translation doesn't have such a radical effect that it would change poetic language to scientific. His prose is still abrupt and concise. It's not like Arabic where everything is poetic and idiomatic, so that much is lost in translation.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        wtf are you talking about trying to get semantic about how much of a critique you gave? you know exactly what we are saying, fricker. you are reading a translation and calling the prose dull. read it in French or stfu b***h

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Critique: (n.) a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory. (v.) evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way.
          The word you're looking for is criticism or criticizing. Classic illiterate/ESL mistake.
          >read it in French or stfu b***h
          I literally just told you I'm reading the French alongside the English translation. homosexual.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            you didnt say you were reading both, wtf? look up homie, did you forget? wow, more semantics. idc. this thread sucks. you aren't saying anything interesting. you've been btfo. dumbass philistine. have fun waiting for me to reply again like a little dog.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >you didnt say you were reading both, wtf?
            If you knew how to read, you would have gathered that I did say that, indirectly.
            >look up homie
            Swarthoid detected.
            >wow, more semantics
            You're arguing about prose in different languages, what do you expect? Apparently the specifics of language only matter for others and not yourself.
            >you've been btfo
            lol ok, you can tell yourself that if it makes you feel better.
            >like a little dog
            You sound an Arab btw. Not a good look.

            Disinterested prose isn't necessarily a negative in a work like this. The translation does make it that much more robotic, though, missing the point. Also: most translations are done by ESLs.

            I didn't say it was necessarily bad. The prose is definitely fitting for the narrative, but I don't find it particularly enjoyable. Also translations are usually done in the translator's native language, so a translation to English would typically be done by a native English speaker, which is the case for Frank Wynne, who translated my copy. The point of my OP wasn't even really to rag on Houellebecq anyways. I just wanted to know if what I read was representative of his style or not.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Disinterested prose isn't necessarily a negative in a work like this. The translation does make it that much more robotic, though, missing the point. Also: most translations are done by ESLs.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          This, my French isn’t perfext but still, I read his work in French (cringe that OP isn’t tbqh) and the matter-of-fact style he writes in while describing the banality and soullesness of the every day lives of middle aged men is kind of the point. Despair isn’t burning in red fiery hell, it’s grey boredom, anti-depressants and the slow realization that this is all there is. Houellebecqs writing captures that really well, and it also makes the humour that much better

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Also: most translations are done by ESLs.
          Translations are mostly done by native speakers of the the target language.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            They're done by "native" speakers most of the time, and when they're done by whites the result is usually a gross misunderstanding of the source material.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >/pol/tards making everything about race somehow
            it's all so tiresome

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Would you call Nabokov a /misc/tard? It's just the truth. The only difference now from the 19th century is that with the transformation of the humanities into a commodity people stopped caring about the quality of their translations.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Would you call Nabokov a /misc/tard?
            Where did he say white translators suck?
            > people stopped caring about the quality of their translations.
            Other way around. People care more than ever about translation quality.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            "Accuracy", not quality. And start with his lectures, interviews and Ada.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >"Accuracy", not quality.
            No, they actually care about quality. They care about the style.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            They don't know what the style is. Keep in mind I'm talking about the NYT type that was instrumental in the current state of affairs. They can't read the originals. They have no point of reference besides mangled cliches and phony simulacra. No one cares about some autists screaming to the void in their Substack cucksheds.

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >monolingual anglo critiquing his prose through translation
    Les mutts sont des immondes créatures

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I totally missed out on the fact that it was a narration from the POV of a future race.

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    His distant style is fitting for the story. Why should this be written romantically?

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Short answer: yes. He is not particularly known to be a great prose stylist, it’s always pretty unremarkable and straightforward.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    US edition cover and title are so much better

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